Do You Know a Narcissist? 5

Being in a relationship with a narcissist can be frustrating, overwhelming and challenging.  What are some additional signs of destructive narcissism? Hunger for Admiration

  • Becomes overly disappointed when his/her efforts aren't openly recognized or acknowledged
  • Brags or boasts
  • Buys things to get others to notice or pay compliments
  • Seeks awards, plaques, certificates, trophies, etc.
  • Wants others to envy him/her
  • Makes sure that others are aware of his/her accomplishments
  • Inflates his/her accomplishments
  • Engages in self-promotion
  • Can't ever seem to be "filled up" with compliments-- no amount of admiration seems to be "enough" (excessive need for admiration)
  • Overly sensitive to criticism-- as though any hint of criticism is telling them you don't admire them
  • Oblivious to this need for excessive admiration and attention
  • Takes credit for unearned accomplishments
  • Talks about him or herself at every opportunity


Envy is wanting what someone else has and feeling that they are not deserving of it as you are.  It carries the assumption that the other person is inferior in some what and that, because of your superiority, you should be favored.  Many people will have moments of envy, but people who have a destructive narcissistic pattern are envious most of the time.  These people will also devalue or put others down who receive the things that they consider to be rightfully theirs.  The most common characteristics are:

  • They think they are deserving and superior
  • They consider others as undeserving and inferior and
  • They are consumed with a desire to be envied by others for being more deserving and superior
  • Boasting about possessions
  • Going into debt to get unnecessary things to impress others
  • Takes unearned credit
  • Promoting him/herself at every opportunity
  • Pointing out where others are inferior or undeserving
  • Feels that he/she has to work harder for what he/she gets while others have it given to them
  • Feels that he/she is treated unfairly in comparison to others
  • Expresses that others have it easier than they do

Expects Favors

  • Have an expectation that others will do them favors, but these people should not expect any favors in return
  • The destructive narcissist feels that they are making you a special person by getting you to do them a favor, and this should be reward enough for anyone (there is more than a hint of arrogance in this attitude)
  • Tells a child to get or do something for him/her, so that he/she doesn't have to move or stop what he/she is doing
  • Asks you to pick up something on your way home, when they could just as easily go and get it.
  • Expects that others will do favors for them
  • Feels disappointed or rejected when someone refuses them a favor
  • Expects children to run personal errands for him/her
  • Expects you to use your leisure time to do things for him/her
  • Calls your family or friends for favors
  • Gets others to do things for him/her that he/she could do on their own
  • Becomes upset when someone fails to follow through on a request for a favor
  • Has unrealistic expectations when asking for favors

Do you recognize any signs of narcissism from this blog series?  Remember that these are only guidelines and a general overview of the many behaviors and attitudes of narcissism.  You might find your spouse, partner, family member or friend has some of the troubling behaviors, but not all of them.  Also, these descriptors may serve as a personal review for some of the undeveloped narcissism that you have-- or unconscious behaviors and attitudes you may have, but might not be as intense as those of a true narcissist, even though they might be affecting your own relationships in negative ways. If so, we encourage you to acknowledge these traits and work on them!  For more information on being in a relationship with a narcissist, contact a professional counselor.

Information in this blog is adapted from:  "Loving the Self-Absorbed" by Nina W. Brown

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.



Do You Know a Narcissist? 4

It can be a challenge, to say the least, to deal with a Narcissist. Let alone be in a relationship with one. Many of our clients who are in a relationship with one come in feeling like they are "crazy" and don't know what to believe anymore. Only to find they've often been manipulated or "charmed" into a relationship with a self-absorbed person. It can be a huge struggle. However, once you understand a Narcissist and see them for the hurt and wounded person that they most likely are, you can create a better relationship with them. It takes a lot of work and guidance but can be done. Hopefully this week has offered you a look inside a Narcissist. Here are a few more traits. Emptiness at the Core

  • They are not aware of many parts of their life (like a relationship that is failing or a child who is hurting)
  • Makes comments about how bad their life is or the quality of their life but rarely does anything to change it.
  • Poor and limited social support system
  • Has little to no relationships outside the family and rarely does anything to benefit those outside their "world"
  • Is never satisfied with their relationships with others, but doesn't see their part in it.
  • Doesn't know the purpose of their life
  • Very limited, if any, spiritual life
  • Is unable to reach out to others and connect with them in a purposeful way.
  • Rarely feels joy or pain. If they do, they have difficulty expressing it.
  • Cannot tell you a reasonable goal or a goal they hope to obtain in the future

Fails to Recognize Boundaries

  • Tells others what to do and expects them to follow their orders.
  • Doesn't knock when entering a room or office and doesn't wait for the permission required to enter.
  • In a relationship, they will accept or decline an rsvp without asking their partner first.
  • When looking for something, they have no problem going thru other's personal items such as purses, drawers, desks, or phones.
  • They do not ask permission before touching someone
  • They make decisions for others.
  • They will easily borrow something from someone and tell them later (or not tell them at all).

Attention Seeking

  • When they arrive early or leave late, they make sure everyone notices.
  • Easily interrupts conversations without hesitation
  • Says inappropriate things for attention including jokes or stories they think are funny at the wrong time
  • Will purposely wear clothes to get attention (too revealing or to shock or break the rules)
  • Talks loudly
  • They do not like to be ignored
  • Pouts when they don't get their way
  • They will push to get their opinions out and try to sway people to believe in the Narcissists opinion. They have a hard time letting something go.
  • They challenge others opinions, rather than respecting them.

As you can see, it is challenging! Many times, it is like dealing with a 2 year-old. But even when dealing with a Toddler, there are things you can do to make it better. Loving the Self-Absorbed by Nina W. Brown, Ed.D., LPC, NCC can help you find ways to do that. Much of this information was adapted from her book.

Although a difficult topic, I hope it has been helpful. Thank you for reading and we will see you tomorrow as Joleen finishes out the week.

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville

7 Tips to Keep Your Child From Being Self-Absorbed 4

Here are 2 more tips to add onto our list for this week's blog: 6.  Sex is natural, and children should not be made to feel shameful about their sexuality by adults behaving in “repressed” ways. As a parent you cannot fully protect your child from sexual over-stimulation, but your willingness to try creates a boundary that the child internalizes as a self-protective barrier. Monitoring what your children are watching on TV & movies, what sites they visit on the internet and what texts they receive on their phones will help them understand this barrier. Parents need to model adult love and affection and answer questions about sex in a straightforward manner that is age appropriate for the child to understand.

7.  The way to build self-esteem is to tell children how “special” they are. Children shouldn’t have to accomplish anything in order to believe in themselves and they should be spared the harmful effects of competition. Competence, confidence and self-esteem come from taking the risk of trying something and finding out what you really can do. You get the experience of mastery that becomes a part of how you see yourself. If you don’t make a child accomplish anything or spare them from the effects of competition, then you are taking away self-esteem building opportunities. If stumbling or failure happens, then it’s more learning that a child gets to do and helps them become stronger and more realistic about themselves and what they are actually capable of doing. Not everyone can be good at everything, and helping your child figure out what skills they possess is key to forming a positive identity.

We hope you have found this weeks blog helpful.  Check back next week, when we will be presenting book recommendations!

Adopted from: "Why is it Always About You?" by Sandy Hotchkiss

7 Tips to Keep Your Child from Being Self-Absorbed 2

About 8 years ago, a Roper National Youth Survey was done asking teens what they thought was wrong with America. Some of their answers were: Selfishness/people not thinking of the rights of others & lack of parental discipline of children and teens. Sandy Hotchkiss, whom this week's blog is taken from, sites more of the survey in her book, Why is it Always About You? Even our teens are noticing how skewed the country is getting, and the teens are attributing some of it to parenting! See if you hold any of these beliefs and take these tips to heart. 2. My child should never suffer. (If my child is unhappy, I am a bad parent.) Failure is always a negative experience and should be avoided at all costs. Suffering is part of being human unfortunately, and we would like to shield everyone we love from suffering, especially our children. Sometimes suffering can be as large as death or illness, or on a smaller scale such as losing a competition or not getting the gift you wanted for your birthday. If a parent jumps through hoops to make sure a child never feels the pain for a failure or suffering, then they are taking away that opportunity for that child to (a) build character, (b) figure out how to handle stressful times, and (c) figure out how to handle feelings such as anger, sadness, envy, guilt, loneliness, disappointment, etc... Children need real-life experiences so they can grow up in a real-life world and know how to function in it.

3. What is good for me is good for my child. This is not always necessarily true. This phrase does not address the fact the child is separate from the parent. A child is their own unique individual with their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Whether it's a parent's decision to divorce, re-marry, date, move, etc.... this belief of "what's best for me will be best for them" will not apply. Sometimes these life choices are necessary and unavoidable. However, children have separate needs and separate interests.

As always, we hope this is getting your wheels to start spinning! There are several more tips for the rest of the week. Check back in & as always, thanks for reading!

Written by: Tamara Wilhelm MA, LMHC

*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling  at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.